No new baubles today, I'm afraid.
My online ministry would not be possible if it was not for the fifty four extremely generous friends who donate regularly and the other kind people who send me cash when they can afford to. However, even with such loyal support I have to survive on between four and five hundred pounds ($650 to $800) a month, which is doable (in so much as I've been doing it for over three years now) until unexpected bills come along. It is also not enough to pay for the expenses I incur producing the Saint Laika podcasts. I have to pay for the hosting of the website and the audio files, for the music when it is not already in my collection and the podcasting license which covers the cost of the royalties on the music I use. There are other occasional expenses and all together I must pay out about £100 ($162) a month just to keep the show on the road.
To overcome this problem I rely on two special appeals each year - one around my birthday in June and one just before Christmas. And this post is the launch of the 2013 Christmas appeal.
This year the appeal is even more important than usual as I am in the process of reinventing the Saint Laika's project as a fully functioning online Christian community (I hate the word church because of its negative conotations for many people I know and myself). Even with the invaluable help of a good geek friend of mine who is busy formatting the new site, this is going to be costly.
On top of the cost of my online ministry I am also hoping to get enough in donations to cover the cost of buying some new clothes in the January sales. This is the only chance I get each year to replace worn out clothing as I can't afford to do so out of my monthly income. I know that sounds pathetic but it was "living on faith" and "trusting in God to provide" is really like.
I am, of course, a bit out of touch, but I guess that the average monthly stipend of a Church of England priest is about £1500 ($2430) after tax. I am aiming to reach a target of £1000 ($1620) in this Christmas campaign. That is a heck of a lot of money (twice what I normally receive in donations in a good month) but I know from experience of your generosity in the past that it is possible.
Please consider putting me on your gift list this Christmas. Donations can be made, for any amount, no matter how small or excessively huge, via the PayPal widget below. You do not even need a PayPal account to donate.
The PayPal option is the cheapest (for me) and most convenient way to send me your gift but if you wish to donate using an alternative method please contact me by email at email@example.com.